Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mom's hope for Erin

A traumatic brain injury changed the lives of Erin Monsell and her parents.

By Beth Jones
The Roanoke Times

Debbie Daniels says that she and her daughter, Erin Monsell, have always had a "she-stubs-her-toe-and-I-feel-it" kind of relationship.

That uncanny connection kicked into overdrive the last Saturday of September 2005....

... All the color drained from his face as he told his wife that Erin had been in a car accident. She'd pulled in front of a paving truck at the intersection of Brughs Mill Road and U.S. 11....

... She had two cracked ribs, a cracked hip, a bruised heart and a traumatic brain injury.

A doctor warned Daniels her daughter might never regain consciousness. If she did wake, the brain injury could leave them with a very different daughter than the one they knew before....

... Erin moved to Brian Center Nursing Care in Fincastle. Reaching her room at the end of the hall meant navigating around a dozen or so wheelchair-bound elderly residents....

... Every day, Daniels witnessed tiny changes in her daughter....

...She mourned mightily when Erin's close friend Sarrah Sass collided with a truck, astonishingly at the same Botetourt County intersection where Erin had wrecked. The Oct. 16, 2005, accident took Sarrah's life....

...Meanwhile, the Danielses have brought Erin back to visit Botetourt County several times, most recently for Easter.

In early June, the Danielses intend to bring Erin back to live in their Buchanan home....

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